A Florida father who accidentally killed his son at the “world’s safest” gun range blamed himself — and not his firearm — for the teen’s death.
Clayton Brumby mistakenly pulled the trigger Sunday while trying to retrieve a hot shell casing out of the back of his shirt while target shooting with three of his children at the High Noon Gun Range in Sarasota.
The 64-year-old Brumby accidentally fired another round while trying to find the casing, and the bullet ricocheted the ceiling of the gun range and struck and killed his 14-year-old son, Stephen.
Brumby accepted responsibility for his son’s death, although he has not been charged, and said his weapon should not be blamed for the fatal shooting.
“The gun didn’t kill my boy. I did,” Brumby told CNN. “Every round in the gun is your responsibility. When it fires you need to stand to account for it. That’s what I’ve spent the last two days doing, accounting for my operating error.”
Brumby said he could have accidentally killed his son some other way.
“It was a very freak accident. I made a mistake,” he said. “It doesn’t take but a split second for something to go wrong — and that could be with a gun, it could be with the wrong medicine, it could be with any number of things.”
The homeschooled teen had gone with his father, 24-year-old brother and 12-year-old sister to the target range, which they did about once or twice a month.
“We wanted our kids to be aware of guns,” said the elder Brumby, a father of seven. “I wanted them to be comfortable around them and understand them.”
His son’s death won’t change his view of guns, and Brumby said he still intends to keep them at home to defend his family.
“I can’t fix this,” Brumby said. “It’s just a great loss, but thankfully we’ll see him someday. I have a feeling he’s on a great lake out there.”